by Cate Murway

“People have to Eat”, words according to the book of Francis Joseph Danis.                                              
Fifty years and thousands of world famous Dietz & Watson lean meat and flavorful cheese hoagies later, the patrons are still eating and enjoying freshly “secret seasoning” convention oven roasted chicken breasts with real mashed potatoes and blanched [not mushy!] fresh garden vegetables.  The skin of a roasted chicken renders its fat and browns more quickly in a convection oven, so the meat cooks faster and stays juicier. The “Famous Danis” homemade potato salad and the very popular tender chicken breast salad is prepared daily.  Kurtz Provisions based in Levittown delivers the succulent poultry that is often still cut by Fran Danis himself. 

Mary Patricia [Riggio], a Wilkes Barre native and Francis J. Danis, a Bristol Borough High School ‘46 grad attest to the fact that the A & P is a “prime” place to “meat”. Both were employed as butchers at the grocery store location, currently Fidelity Savings & Loan Association on Pond Street, when they began courting. Mary had been employed at the Strauss Luncheonette on Mill Street when she was recruited for a position in the meat department of The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc. Fran, just as his father had, worked as a supervisor at the Keystone / Kaiser / 3M Airport on Green Lane. He then labored as a roofer for William [Bill] Levitt, while Levitt found an answer to a postwar housing crisis and created suburbia. Finally, Fran “made the cut” at his next career as a butcher.

The four Danis Family children attended St. Mark School; three currently continue the family deli business today. Mary Frances (MaryFran) Theresa Ziegler and Susan Marchione are both Villa Joseph Marie graduates who participated in CLC [Christian Life Community] delivering meals to deserving families through the Catholic Charities social service organization. MaryFran, married to Jacques, a tool & die supervisor at Columbia Lighting, Inc on Beaver Street, graduated with a Marketing degree from LaSalle University in 1977 and started her career in Retail Management. She made her home in New Jersey while she was a manager in the Strawbridge & Clothier Department Store, the style leader, Lane Bryant and the Lady Bug Shoppe. MaryFran was introduced to Jacques by a friend; met Jacques, her blind date at her deli, and Jacques proposed to MaryFran right in the store, after Mr. Danis, who was “butchering” the meals for the next day, consented. This is truly a “family” business!  Susan, married to Tony, employed at the very exclusive private Huntingdon Valley Country Club, graduated from Temple University with a Special Ed degree.  They have two daughters, Carla, a Council Rock ’05 grad currently attending Penn State University and Danae, a 5th grade student at Churchville Elementary.  Michael Lee and Francis Xavier are Bristol Borough H. S. graduates.  Michael was named MVP in H.S. football and was All-American in wrestling at Delaware Valley College where he too pursued a degree in Marketing. He and his attorney wife, Elaine also have two daughters, Caitlin, a Wellesley College, Boston, MA student and Madelaine, a basketball and softball star who loves horses! Fran, a Temple University grad, is a jazz pianist who tutors 20 keyboard students. 

Fran and Mary Danis’ business began as a full service grocery store on Radcliffe Street before they purchased the current 1700 Farragut Avenue [previously a pet store] location in 1957. They parked a red trailer with an awning, equipped with new soft ice cream machinery next to the Danis Deli and dubbed it “Custard’s Last Stand”. Chocolate and vanilla twist custard cones and hand- dipped sundaes provided some of the money Michael needed for college. MaryFran and Susan peeled potatoes by hand [the 2 girls have since been replaced by a high capacity potato peeling machine!] and they worked with their parents at the store every day after school. They purchased a home together in the Borough on Lafayette Street in 1983 and became true business partners in the early 1990’s when they chose to continue the business their parents had started, along with their brother, Michael. Their innate  “people service” approach is obvious in their continued dedication to detail in preparation and ingredients. 
The interior walls of the store have been transformed into a pink mauve inviting color, providing the perfect background for the framed artwork, antique wood corner cabinets and the Queen Bengal coal stove. Come in and enjoy roast beef, pork and turkey, all boned, seasoned and cooked with no preservatives. Recipes collected and compiled by Mrs. Danis make the gravy, meatballs and sauce so special. Start your day with a sausage, egg and cheese or bacon, egg and cheese on a fresh soft Kaiser roll. Halt your mid-day hunger with a homemade meatloaf [the ultimate comfort food] platter. Chili, or chili con carne, with its grand Texas heritage and widespread popularity, is a delicious choice. Specialty items, made to order, include scones, a traditional rich quick bread. After you’ve enjoyed your meal, of course, “dessert” yourself with from-the-oven apple walnut cake or a classic brownie! Perhaps thick rich bread pudding or time-tested rice pudding will hit the spot.

Just imagine that you could enjoy these mouth-watering delicacies at your home! Danis Deli “Caters To You” - literally. Their Full Service catering provides you with your made-to-order food, packed and delivered and set up at your home.  Racks and sternos, requiring a deposit, are provided. Enjoy your family celebration while your guests are enjoying the feast! They offer a tempting variety of culinary delights to ensure that your special occasion will be an affair to remember.
Eat in or take out!  A variety of classic deli sandwiches, grilled sandwiches, hot sandwiches or hoagies can be prepared to order. Mention this article and you receive a FREE soda with the purchase of any platter. Have a delicious day!
Call 215.788.5440
Fax 215.788.4811

1700 Farragut Avenue
Bristol, PA  19007

Monday thru Friday 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.                                                                        
Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  
Sunday 10:00 a.m. –2:00 p.m.


Francis J. Danis 
Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 4:00 am 

Francis J. Danis passed away Monday, Sept. 9, 2013 at his home in Bristol, PA 
He was 85.
Born in Bristol, he was a lifelong resident.

Francis started his career as a Butcher working for the A&P store in Bristol. He then established his own business and opened Danis's Market and operated it for 52 years before his retirement. He was a member of the Hibernians and the St. Ann's Club in Bristol.
He is survived by his wife, Mary P. (Riggio) Danis; four children, Mary Frances Ziegler (Jacques), Susan Marchione (Anthony), Michael Danis and Francis Danis; and four granddaughters, Carla, Danae, Caitlin and Madelaine. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Albert and Lee Danis.
Family and friends are invited to attend his viewing from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 13, at the Molden Funeral Chapel Inc., 133 Otter St., Bristol, PA. A service will immediately follow at 11 a.m. Interment is private.

To sign the online guestbook or send a condolence visit the Web address listed below. Molden Funeral Chapel Inc.
Bristol        www.moldenfuneralchapel.com


Mary P. Danis
posted October 2nd, 2014

Mary P. Danis passed away Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014
at Chandler Hall Hospice, Newtown. She was 86.

Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., daughter of the late Leonardo and Vito Riggio, she had been a longtime Bristol Borough resident.
Mrs. Danis, along with her husband, were the proprietors of Danis Market in Bristol Borough for many years.
She enjoyed playing golf, tennis, and spending her summers in Ocean City, N.J.

Wife of the late Francis J. Danis, she is survived by her children, Mary Frances Ziegler (Jacques), Susan Marchione (Tony), Michael Danis (Elaine), and Francis X. Danis, and will be sadly missed by her grandchildren, Carla Marchione and her fiancé, Mark Tressler, Danae Marchione, Kaitlin Danis, and Lieutenant Madelaine Ross, USAF. She is also survived by one sister, Theresa Lori (the late Herman) along with many nieces and nephews.
In addition to parents and her husband, she was preceded in death by one brother, Frank Sodano, and two sisters, Eva Sodano and Catherine DiRienzo (the late James).

Relatives and friends are invited to attend her Funeral Service at 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 4, at the Wade Funeral Home, 1002 Radcliffe Street, Bristol Borough. Friends may call 11:30 a.m. until time of service. Interment will be private. Wade Funeral Home,  Bristol Borough

Mary Frances (MaryFran) Theresa [Danis] Ziegler
Danis Catering closed December 2009.